Ocala

History

The Timucuan Indians were the first settlers in the area in Marion County. They had the largest village which they called “Ocali.” After years of contact with Europeans, the Timucuans and their descendants were eradicated.

Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon asserted Spain’s power over Florida in the 1500s, but Spain gave Florida up to the British in 1763. After 20 years, the British returned Florida to Spain, and Florida became a United States territory in 1821.

In 1846, Ocala was made county seat near the military outpost Fort King, which was used during the Seminole Wars. In 1881, railroads were made available to the people in Ocala, thereby blooming and developing the citrus business. Ocala, along with many cities, became affected by the Big Freeze in 1894 and 1895. Later on, Silver Springs became an important tourist attraction. During the 1940s to 1950s, horse breeding and training became famous in Ocala. As of the present, over 1,000 horse farms are found in Marion County.

In the present times, Ocala is well known for superb cultural luxuries and great natural sceneries.

Getting There

Tourists by plane can land on the international airports in Orlando, Tampa, and Jacksonville, all of which are nearest to Ocala. A regional airport in Gainesville is serviced by major airline companies. Ocala also has an international airport, the Ocala International Airport, which caters to those with corporate and small private planes.

Tourists by bus can ride on Greyhound. Those with car can arrive in Ocala through I-75 or I-95.

Weather

Average high temperature is 93°F, usually on July, and lowest temperature on average is 45°F, usually on January. The area has an average of 116 rainy days per year. Ocala has two seasons: the dry season happens from October to May, while the wet season is from June to September. The dry season is often sunshine days with less rainfall. Afternoon thunderstorms usually occur during the wet season. The area has an average precipitation of 49.68 inches per year.

What to Wear

During summer months, it is advisable to wear light-colored and cool clothing, especially those made from cotton. Women can wear skirts and cool sundresses. Flip flops are definitely something to bring. If you plan to stay outdoors for longer hours, bring along a hat, a pair of shades for eye protection, and apply a generous amount of sunblock with a high SPF, applying every 2 to 3 hours.

When on business meetings, wear appropriate clothing made of light-colored and cool materials. For night outs, it is advisable to wear appropriate outfits.

During the rainy and cold seasons, be sure to have a jacket or sweatshirt.

Fishing

A lot of lakes in Ocala are filled with prized fishes. Listed are some of these.

largemouth bass
shellcracker
bluegill
black crappie
warmouth

BEST MONTHS TO FISH

largemouth bass – February to April
shellcracker – March and April
bluegill – May to November
black crappie – December to March
warmouth – late spring to early summer

WHAT TO BRING AND WEAR WHEN FISHING
The following are the most appropriate outfit when going for a fish:

• hat
• sunglasses
• light long sleeves, cool light-colored cotton outfits
• jacket or other rain gear
• boat shoes
• sun screen with high SPF

The following should also be in your A-list:

• camera
• cooler
• water or your preferred beverages
• food
• medicine kit
• fishing apparatus

Attractions and Activities

Ocala is blessed with green pastures, beautiful lakes and springs, and beautiful horses. Other attractions include trail rides and drag racing for the tough guys, golf resorts for golf fanatics, and museum for those wanting to be educated and to have fun at the same time.

*Cactus Jack’s Trail Rides
11008 South Highway 475
Ocala, FL 34480
(352) 266-9326
http://www.cactusjackstrailrides.com
deb@cactusjackstrailrides.com

*Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing
13700 SW 16th Ave
Ocala, FL 34473
(352) 245-8661

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*Appleton Museum of Art
4333 NE Silver Springs Blvd.
Ocala, FL 34470-5000
Phone: (352) 291-4455
Fax: (352) 291-4460
www.appletonmuseum.org/

*ATV Off-Road Adventure Tours
Ocala National Forest
Ocala, FL 32134
(561) 333-8687, (561) 512-6579

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atvtours@bellsouth.net

*Baseline Golf Course
9000 Southeast 58th Ave.
Ocala, FL 34480
Phone: (352) 245-4414
Fax: (352) 347-0830

*Paradise Springs
4040 Southeast 84th Lane Road
Ocala, FL 34480
(352) 368-5746

*Country Club Of Silver Springs Shores
565 Silver Road
Ocala, FL 34472
Phone: (352) 687-2828
Fax: (352) 687-0720

*Candler Hills Golf Club
8139 SW 90th Terrace Road
Ocala, FL 34481
(352) 861-9712

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*Santos – Belleview Trail
Highway 27 Ocala, FL
(352) 245-3355

*Stone Creek Golf Club
6320 SW 89th Court Rd
Ocala, FL 34481
Phone: (877) 333-5932
Fax: (352) 237-4308

Where to Stay

Listed below are some of the accomodations which tourists and businessmen can avail while on vacation or business trips in Ocala.

*Hampton Inn & Suites Ocala
2075 SW Highway 484,
Ocala, FL 34473
Phone: (352) 347-1600
Fax: (352) 347-6055
http://hamptoninn.hilton.com/

*Sleep Inn & Suites Ocala
13600 SW 17th Court,
Ocala, FL 34473
(352) 347-8383
http://www.ocalaflahotel.com/

*Homewood Suites Ocala
4610 SW 49th Road,
Ocala, FL 34474
(352) 369-4610
www.ocala.homewoodsuites.com/

*Red Roof Inn & Suites Ocala
120 NW 40th Avenue,
Ocala, FL 34482
(352) 732-4590
www.redroofinnocalafl.com/

*Howard Johnson Inn – Ocala
3951 NW Blitchton Road, I-75 exit 354,
Ocala, FL 34482
(352) 629-7021
http://hotelocala.com/

*La Quinta Inn & Suites Ocala
3530 SW 36th Avenue,
Ocala, FL 34474
(352) 861-1137
http://www.lq.com/lq/index.jsp

*Hilton Ocala
3600 Southwest 36th Avenue,
Ocala, FL 34474-4474
(888) 348-3133
www.hiltonocala.com/

*Residence Inn Ocala
3610 SW 38th Ave,
Ocala, FL 34474
(352) 547-1600
http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/gnvri-residence-inn-ocala/

*Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites – Ocala Conference Center
3600 SW 38th Avenue,
Ocala, FL 34474
(877) 859-5095
http://www.holidayinn.com/hotels/us/en/ocala/ocflo/hoteldetail?cm_mmc=mdpr-_-TripAdvisor-_-BizListing-_-hi_ocflo

*Golden Palms Inn & Suites
3767 NW Blitchton Road, (formely “Payless Inn and Suites”),
Ocala, FL 34475
(352) 732-2302
http://www.goocala.com/

Where to Eat

From French to American to Italian cuisine, Chinese or Indian goodness, tourists can surely find it in the restaurants in Ocala. These food havens also cater to families with kids, businessmen dealing with clients, friends on vacation, and even lovers on dinner dates. Check out some of these restaurants.

*Mojo Grill
103 SE 1st Ave,
Ocala, FL 34471
(352) 369-6656
www.mojogrillandcatering.com/

*Stella’s Modern Pantry
20 SW Broadway,
Ocala, FL 34471-1137
(352) 622-3663
www.stellasmodernpantry.com/

*Harry’s Seafood Bar and Grille
24 SE 1st Avenue,
Ocala, FL 34471
(352) 840-0900
www.hookedonharrys.com/

*Royal Orchid
3131 SW College Road, #206,
Ocala, FL 34474 (Formerly Thai Ruby)
(352) 237-4949

*La Cuisine French Restaurant
48 SW 1st ave, Ocala, FL 34471
(352) 433-2570
www.lacuisineocala.com/

*Abios Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria
2377 SW College Road, Ocala, FL 34474
(352) 629-4886
www.abiospizza.com

*Amrit Palace Indian Restaurant
3415 SW College Road,
Ocala, FL 34474
(352) 873-8500
www.amritpalace.com

*Cuvee Wine & Bistro
2237 SW 19th Avenue Rd,
Ocala, FL 34471
(352) 351-1816
www.cuveewineocala.com

*China Hut
1022 South Pine Avenue,
Ocala, FL 34471
(352) 620-0069

*Sky Asian Fusion
3600 SW 38th Ave, Sixth Floor, Ocala, FL 34474
(352) 291-0000
www.ocalasky.com

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